The Drink Of The Weekend: Pike Brewing Co. IPA

As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.

My God. Has it really been five-and-a-half months since the last time I regaled all of you on the Interwebs with a Drink Of The Weekend feature? Apparently, it has, because I look back in the Why Daddy Drinks archives, the last Drink Of The Weekend was Green Flash Palate Wrecker, and that was posted back on Feb. 6.

Pike Brewing Co.'s IPA. Strong at first, yet sweet at the end.
Pike Brewing Co.’s IPA. Strong at first, yet sweet at the end.

What has happened since then? Well, my wife and I have had birthdays, as has America. Our six-year-old daughter, Maddo, fell and broke her arm, lost a tooth and graduated Kindergarten. Our four-year-old daughter, Little Sis, finished up her preschool class year and continues to be “scared” of going downstairs to her bedroom. In the middle of the day. And, my Beloved Hometown Seattle Mariners, one of the pre-season favorites to win the American League West, the American League pennant and FINALLY get to the World Series for the first time ever are now presently mirroring where they have spent the better part of the past decade: Wallowing nine games under .500 and quickly playing themselves out of any shot at post-season contention.

[Bangs head repeatedly on any nearby wall.]

Oh, and we also made our annual sojourn to visit my mom and brother up in my personal homeland south of Seattle. We have done this trek every summer for each of the last five years and it pretty much follows the same pattern each time:

We pick a day to leave and head out the door by about 6 a.m. We then beeline it for Interstate 5 and set a course north. After about eight hours, including stops for coffee, gas, lunch, more coffee, admiring Mt. Shasta and, yet, more coffee, we roll into the Holiday Inn Express in Medford, Ore., where it is typically about 157 degrees outside. We check in, take the girls to the pool to splash around for a while, then have dinner at one of Medford’s finer casual-chain dining restaurants like Applebee’s or Red Lobster. Then, we go to bed.

Day Two begins with hotel-room coffee, followed by a trip to the Holiday Inn’s surprisingly good free breakfast bar. We take the opportunity to load up on things like bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy because when you are about drive 400 or so miles you want to make sure you’ve filled your gullet with enough greasy, heavy food to do a World War II-era cook proud. The girls, of course, use this meal as a free pass for pancakes, mini-muffins and oh, so many bowls of Froot Loops. And I can’t really blame them.

The Chicken Fried Steak Omelette. Oh, and there is bacon inside of that thing, too. Thank me.
The Chicken Fried Steak Omelette. Oh, and there is bacon inside of that thing, too. Thank me.

Driving then continues for about another eight or nine hours up I-5 until we hit my mom’s place n Tacoma. And then, we spend the next seven days engaging in a combination of doing things for the kids [Taking them to the Space Needle and Pike Place Market in Seattle. Visiting the zoo. Letting them splash around in the mini pool my mom has set up in her backyard], Eating as much as we can [Grilled ribs. Going to the local Mexican joint. Devouring what may well be the single-greatest breakfast item known to man or beast, the Chicken Fried Steak Omelette from Marcia’s Silver Spoon restaurant] and dumping the girls off with mom for a while so my wife and I can just get some time to ourselves without having to break up brawls over our daughters calling each other “fancy”. [This mostly involved my wife and I hitting the Tacoma Mall, going out to dinner at The Lobster Shoppe and staying the night at a Best Western hotel, which aside from us, seemed to be completely filled with Jehovah’s Witnesses who were attending their annual convention at the Tacoma Dome next door.

What I am trying to say in a long, roundabout way, is that when we go to visit my mom, we do a lot of things we normally don’t do as part of our regular lives in Oakland. And one of those things is picking up some regional beers that aren’t available near us.

We’ve been doing this summertime drive and visit every year for five years now. And every year, I have told my wife that I am am going to take her and our daughters to Seattle to visit the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market. And every year, we end up getting so tied up with about eight billion other things that we don’t get anywhere near the base of the Needle or the within range of the Market’s famous fish throwers. This year, I was determined for us to get up there.

And in order to do ensure that, we had to hit Seattle on our first full day at my mom’s. The weather was perfect. The view from the Needle was pristine. And the fish throwers at the Market were right on target: Nobody dropped a single salmon.

It was with the Market on my mind when my wife and I later stepped into Tacoma’s Pint Defiance specialty beer shop. I go there every year to stock up on some local stuff, and, as usual, I began attacking the coolers with the same intensity my wife puts into her Zulily online shopping expeditions. And as I was grabbing new bottles and cans, I came upon one with a red, white a blue label of awesomeness that made me proud to be from Seattle, and America.

It was Pike Brewing Co.’s India Pale Ale, direct from its home near the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. The Pike’s IPA comes with a 6.3% ABV, but feels like it’s more like 8.3%. I don’t know why, but one bottle of this leaves you checking your equilibrium and believing that your legs might be best left unused for an hour. It has a strong initial taste that finishes sweetly, but not enough to make you pucker. It’s kind of like the Market itself: A little rough at first, but then you get into the feel of it and you’re at home.

I only have two bottles of left, and Pike isn’t sold in California. Needless to say, next year’s trip home will include bringing back much more than a six-pack.

[Editor’s Note…The good folks at Pike Brewing tweeted me the information that Pike beers can be found in California at The drawback is there are limited locations, and the nearest one to me is about two hours away in Sacramento and Roseville. Regarding my lack of knowledge on this matter, I freely admit to being ridiculously ill-informed about almost everything I claim to know.]

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